Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.
The Notre Dame and University of Miami rivalry is finally, officially back on! Sources have confirmed rumors of a renewed series kicking off October 6, 2012, at Chicago Field. Sure, by that time, the majority of the players on the field will not have even been born the last time the two teams met in 1990, but that doesn't mean this game will be any less sweet for fans.
That rumble in the Windy City will be followed up four years later by a game at Notre Dame October 8, 2016, and then a Miami home game November 25, 2017.
The 27-game rivalry goes back to the days when Miami wasn't anything close to a superpower, and the Fighting Irish won every game between 1961 and 1980.
But the Hurricanes shocked Notre Dame with a 37-15 victory in 1981, foreshadowing their rise to dominance and kicking off a heated rivalry that would define college football in the '80s. The Canes brutalized Notre Dame 20-0 in '83 on their way to their first national championship. The rivalry reached a fever pitch in 1988 in the "Catholics vs. Convicts" game that had national title implications. The Irish narrowly bested Miami, 31-30, and went on to win the title. Miami retaliated the next season by beating the then number one-ranked Irish in the final game of the regular season, which set up another national title for the team. The two met for the final time in 1990, resulting in an Irish win. After that, Notre Dame decided to forgo the rivalry.
Even looking ahead to 2012, it's hard to predict the implication of the game, but both teams are under heavy pressure to return to the top of the college football heap, and they look to be headed that way. Whether it will have the consequences of the games in the '80s is anyone's guess.
But with strong history, they are two of the three traditional private-school powerhouses in college football. And the always stark differences between fans from the Magic City and Notre Dame's Catholic nation should make for one hell of an exciting rivalry.